Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:
“Today Secretary Panetta met with French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss the upcoming NATO Summit and plans for transition in Afghanistan. Secretary Panetta congratulated Minister Le Drian on his appointment as Defense Minister, emphasized the outstanding cooperation between our two countries on many defense issues, and thanked Le Drian particularly for the significant contributions that France has made to ISAF.
“Secretary Panetta and Minister Le Drian discussed strategies for investing in defense during times of austerity and looked forward to the conversation on defense capabilities at the NATO Chicago Summit.
“The two ministers committed to working closely together on Iran, Syria, and the Arab Spring, where Secretary Panetta praised French leadership and resolve in addressing these challenges.”